Menard Creek rises in central Polk County five miles north of New Chapel (at 30°47' N, 94°49' W) and flows south and west through Polk, Hardin, and Liberty counties for approximately forty miles to its mouth, on the Trinity River three miles north of Romayor in Liberty County (at 30°29' N, 94°50' W). Originally called Menard's Bayou, the perennial stream is named for Michel B. Menard, who bought the Rumayor tract on April 10, 1832, and was building a mill by June 26 of the next year. Menard Creek soon became a site of early settlement in Polk County away from the Trinity River. The creek originally flowed through great expanses of bald cypress swamps, but lumbermen depleted the cypress stands along with the heavy growths of wild peach trees, a species of the laurel family once prized locally as a decorative shrub. The stream and its environment are now protected, since the creek flows through the Menard Creek Corridor of the Big Thicket National Preserve, where it is the focus of renewed recreational activity.